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This salad is one of my favorite salads. It’s inspired by a salad at one of my favorite restaurants that unfortunately doesn’t have a location where I currently live. I rarely take leftover salad from a restaurant because it gets wilted, but this is one I will actually take with me. My homemade version keeps for about a day in the fridge, though the lettuce is definitely not going to be as crispy. If you want to make this ahead, I suggest waiting to add the dressing until it’s served. It’s also a good idea to sore the crumbled bacon and tomatoes in separate containers. The moisture from the lettuce will affect the crispiness of the bacon, and the moisture from the tomatoes can promote lettuce wilting.
I prefer my romaine lettuce with the rib/backbone removed. That takes extra work, and isn’t necessary. You can also shortcut with bagged romaine, but it doesn’t take long to cut your own. See Feel Good Foodie’s How to Cut Lettuce for a tutorial.
Making homemade ranch dressing is a game changer. Never will I ever buy a bottle of Hidden Valley again (sorry Hidden Valley!) But, I do shortcut and buy the Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix. Let me tell you, this tastes different than the bottled version. It’s quick to make, and tastes more like a ranch you’d get from a restaurant. I also highly recommend going 100% homemade. The Salty Marshmallow has an Easy Homemade Ranch Dressing recipe. You might never want to get store-bought again.
This salad makes a great side or even a main dish. It goes great with pretty much anything grilled. You can make it more filling by adding grilled chicken, shrimp, or steak. It makes a great side dish for grilled chicken or steak, too. Try it with Pulled Pork, Lemon Pepper Chicken Kabobs, or grilled skirt steak.
- Mixing bowl
- 2 hearts romaine lettuce chopped
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 10 strips cooked bacon chopped/crumbled
- Make the garlic ranch by combining the ranch dressing and garlic powder.
- Toss together the lettuce and dressing in a large bowl until the dressing is evenly distributed.
- Add bacon and toss, then addd tomatoes and toss.